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Android Creator Andy Rubin Launches Top-of-the-line Essential Phone (theverge.com) 193

The much-anticipated smartphone from Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, is here. It's called the Essential Phone, and it runs a custom version of Android. Priced at $699, the Essential Phone offers top-of-the-line specifications including "an edge-to-edge display that one-ups even the Samsung Galaxy S8 by bringing it all the way to the the top of the phone, wrapping around the front-facing selfie camera." From a report on The Verge: It's a unique take on a big screen that makes the phone stand out -- and it's smart too. Often, the status bar at the top of an Android phone doesn't fill that middle space with icons, so it's efficient. The screen does leave some bezel at the bottom of the phone, but nevertheless it's as close to the whole front of a phone being display as I've seen. Essential is launching the phone in the US to start, and it's filled the phone with radios that should make it work on all major carriers, alongside usual Android flagship internals like a Qualcomm 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. [...] Essential will ship a 360-degree camera that can click in to the top of the phone, and the company will also offer a charging dock. Both connect to the phone with small metal pogo pins. They won't entirely replace USB-C for most people, but Essential is clearly hoping that they could someday. Speaking of ports, there is no traditional 3.5mm headphone jack -- which is a bummer. We're told that it will ship with a headphone dongle in the box.
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Android Creator Andy Rubin Launches Top-of-the-line Essential Phone

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  • What it means... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @06:29AM (#54509417) Journal
    ... and it runs a custom version of Android. ...

    Correct me if I'm wrong. So it won't get the updates from Google directly, right? We need to wait for him to get around to passing the update to the phone, correct?

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      Except for the Google Pixel/Nexus phones, how is that any different than every other Android phone?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      True, but given Rubin's Android history, and the fact that he's only got one handset model to worry about, I think you probably have more chance of timely updates than with most mainstream manufacturers.

    • Every smartphone runs a custom version of Android. Nobody gets updates from google, except Google phones.

      • AND.. Google phones even run a custom version of Android, albeit less customized than most by virtue of being supported by the maintainer of Android. The only real advantage is Google supports these devices directly.
    • Google has already supposedly "solved" this with their HAL [wikipedia.org]
    • I am not sure where that "custom version of Android" line came from. Wired magazine says they are shipping it with clean, stock Android without a custom skin.

  • Apologists unite! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @06:32AM (#54509435)

    Appears to be glass-backed like iPhone 4, no analog audio jack, no removable battery, no SD card slot, proprietary power plug. But it's running Android so it's ok, right?

    • Nope. Get back to the drawing board, it lacks everything that's important in a phone.

      Actually I wanted to ask whether its software makeup is free of the pesky "cannot-remove-the-google-crap" shit that requires you to root and flash it, but if it fails already at the hardware level, there's no need to even ask about the software situation.

      • Re:Apologists unite! (Score:5, Informative)

        by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @10:00AM (#54510323)

        Actually I wanted to ask whether its software makeup is free of the pesky "cannot-remove-the-google-crap"

        Or you could just disable it, and you'll never even notice that it is there unless you go way deep into the settings menu.

        requires you to root and flash it, but if it fails already at the hardware level

        Personally, I'm less and less interested in rooting phones. Rooting is good for adding features that aren't included stock, which was important in the early days because a lot of phones were outright incapable of doing certain things without going beyond the software stack. But these days, not only are the phones quite feature packed, but the UI is well designed too. The only reason I root is so I can use my call recording app and CF.lumen. Most phones can record calls except for the Nexus and Pixel line, unfortunately, but newer versions of Android make CF.lumen irrelevant. My current phone is a Nexus 6P, and more than likely I won't need to root with whatever I have next (which I'll probably upgrade to when the 6P stops getting updates.)

        And good riddance to be honest. Rooting means you have to manually intervene every month in order for your phone to be able to take updates, which is annoying, and some apps do different things to detect root, which you have to do some hackery to get around.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Magisk avoids pretty much all of the issues with rooting that you note. I do it for ad blocking and tethering.

          • It looks like that just circumvents SafetyNet, which means it hides root from Play Services. The problem is not every app goes that route, for example the app Good or the HRblock tax app.

            Also it doesn't look like it does anything to make OTA android patches work. It looks like it has some tricks for custom roms, but I by far prefer to use stock Nexus images.

            I could be wrong though, but from what I'm reading about it, it doesn't seem to solve all of the limitations I need to work around.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Nope. Not getting HTC's U11, because headphone socket.
    • It follows the usual pattern with Android phones: the more expensive it is, the shittier it'll be in practice.

    • Actually, it is a ceramic back with a titanium frame and a Gorilla Glass 5 screen. It should be stronger than most phones except special rugged ones.

    • by Vairon ( 17314 )

      It uses a wireless pad/dock for normal charging or USB-C for fast charging.

  • Sorry guys (Score:5, Informative)

    by dmesg0 ( 1342071 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @06:33AM (#54509437)

    No headphones jack - no money

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They didn't ask you before sending this into production? Madness!

      • Re:Sorry guys (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dmesg0 ( 1342071 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @07:13AM (#54509565)

        Unfortunately they didn't. Otherwise I would tell them that it's very stupid for a newcomer to reduce the number of potential buyers without a good reason.

        • Re:Sorry guys (Score:5, Interesting)

          by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @09:40AM (#54510133) Homepage Journal

          Unfortunately they didn't. Otherwise I would tell them that it's very stupid for a newcomer to reduce the number of potential buyers without a good reason.

          (Prefatory note: I do not expect that this will convince you to buy a phone without a headphone jack, and I'm in no way trying to imply that you should if you don't want to.)

          You're assuming there isn't a good reason. Most consumers assume that device designers can just stick anything they want into a device, any place they like, but that's not remotely true. The headphone jack has been causing problems with the placement of components, especially antennas, for years now because the thing is enormous, cutting deep into the device, and has to be on the edge and at one end. The USB port is a similar problem, it's less than half as deep and it serves many purposes -- including audio.

          The obvious engineering solution: eliminate the huge and anachronistic headphone jack. Hardware engineers have been afraid to do this for a long time, because of the obvious backlash from consumers who don't understand the complexities involved and will see it as nothing more than a way to extract more money from them in the form of new headphones, or adapters for their old ones. This is why Apple called their decision "courageous", because they decided to accept the backlash.

          Now that Apple has broken that trail, you can expect everyone else to follow suit, not because they particularly want to emulate Apple, but because there are good engineering reasons for doing it. Over the next couple of years, you will see almost all "flagship" devices dumping the headphone jack, and within four or five years the only new devices that still have it will be those who are catering specifically to the market of people who demand it. Meanwhile, USB-C headphones will become cheap and plentiful, as will adapters.

          Personally, I haven't used a headphone jack in at least a year. I find wireless headphones to be so much more convenient to use that I'm willing to put up with the necessity of charging them. I know lots of people find the quality of bluetooth audio to be unacceptable, but that actually has nothing to do with bluetooth per se, because the protocol can easily support high quality audio, and everything to do with the implementation in current-generation devices. And it's been something of a vicious circle: bluetooth audio sucks so audiophiles don't buy bluetooth headphones, so there's no reason to build bluetooth headphones with high quality audio. The coming dearth of headphone jacks is likely to break that circle, I think. I hope so, because I like not having wires from my pocket to my head, and although I'm rarely bothered by bluetooth audio quality, perhaps because I rarely listen to music, I wouldn't mind having better.

          Anyway, the bottom line is that there are good (to hardware engineers) reasons to lose the headphone jack, and I suspect that you're going to find it increasingly hard to find phones that have one. Not right away, but in a few years.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            You're assuming there isn't a good reason. Most consumers assume that device designers can just stick anything they want into a device, any place they like, but that's not remotely true. The headphone jack has been causing problems with the placement of components, especially antennas, for years now because the thing is enormous, cutting deep into the device, and has to be on the edge and at one end. The USB port is a similar problem, it's less than half as deep and it serves many purposes -- including audio.

            Engineering is often about design constraints or goals that make integrating the necessary components for the desired functionality complicated.

            In this case, I'd wager the jack isn't the problem in and of itself, it's the design constraint of an artificially imposed cosmetic requirement that the device be thinner than the last model.

            My question is why is the thinness of the device more important than the functionality of the headphone jack? I don't know anybody who says "my phone is too thick, make it thin

            • In this case, I'd wager the jack isn't the problem in and of itself, it's the design constraint of an artificially imposed cosmetic requirement that the device be thinner than the last model.

              No, thinness isn't really an issue. The jack is only 3.5mm in diameter, and phones are around three times thicker than that. The issue is the 15 mm length.

              • by swb ( 14022 )

                So why is it a problem, especially on phablets like the iPhone Plus line or larger Galaxies? These devices originally were much smaller in the earlier incarnations and had headphone jacks. Not thinner, but definitely smaller vertically and horizontally.

                I'm struggling to understand what the huge engineering challenge is if they've had these jacks all along and the phones were overall lower internal volume.

                What functionality are we losing by having a headphone jack? I'm still failing to see this as the col

                • Total size/volume matters less than the volume near the edges. This is particularly true on devices with metal bodies since you can't put an antenna behind a metal shield. And, increasingly, metal bodies are essential for performance because SoCs are hot and the large heat sink and radiant surface provided by a metal body is very helpful with heat dissipation. Inadequate heat dissipation will result in CPU/GPU thermal throttling, which kills performance under heavy use.

              • I think you completely missed his point, which isn't that the device is too thin for the jack, it's that it's too thin for the jack + everything else. If you allow the phone to be a few millimeters thicker, the entire problem with having a headphone jack completely vanishes, plus you can often fit in a better battery, and maybe even make it replaceable, to boot. Hell, you might even be able to fit in a microSD card, but that's clearly crazy talk. No, that mm of extra thinness that if anything just makes the

                • No, I didn't. Making a thicker device wouldn't help much with the issues that are driving the removal of the audio jack. And, frankly, even if that were the case, it appears that -- slashdotters notwithstanding -- the market really does like thinner phones, so trying to tell OEMs to make them thicker isn't going to work.
          • Re:Sorry guys (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @11:12AM (#54510895)

            Have you actually ever disassembled a reasonably modern phone? I run a small repair shop after hours, so I have. The headphone jack is not particularily large, it absolutely doesn't have to be in a corner (although it helps) and it is usually a module with several other stuff attached or placed on it, like the LEDs, ambient light sensors or antennas (which often are just plastic covers with metallic ink lines drawn on them. As for the USB port being half as deep - it depends. It doesn't take much room when soldered directly to the motherboard, but by now the manufacturers finally realised that it tends to break off and make the USB port as a module with a flex cable attached. This module is most certainly not smaller than the headphone jack module (which is usally not just the headphone jack anyway). Oh, by the way, there is actually quite enough room inside a phone thanks to the large displays they tend to have nowadays. You have to realise that most of the hardware inside a phone is not that different to the hardware of a smart watch. The only thing that is difficult to avoid is a certain thickness (LCD + frame + adhesive + battery + back cover - that much room is necessary), but a headphone jack is slim enough to fit in.

            • Have you actually ever disassembled a reasonably modern phone? I run a small repair shop after hours, so I have. The headphone jack is not particularily large, it absolutely doesn't have to be in a corner (although it helps) and it is usually a module with several other stuff attached or placed on it, like the LEDs, ambient light sensors or antennas (which often are just plastic covers with metallic ink lines drawn on them.

              I'm just telling you what a friend of mine, a hardware engineer who works on smartphones and tablets, told me. I don't know enough of the details to debate them.

          • Most consumers assume that device designers can just stick anything they want into a device, any place they like, but that's not remotely true.

            No. However consumers rightfully call out companies on their bullshit when they see their precious engineering reasons bested by competitors. "I can't make it waterproof" Well that other company seems to have no problem. "I can't make it thin" Well that other company seems to have no problem. "We don't have the space" Then why did you put a useless barometer in there no one asked for.

            • You do know that the barometer doesn't add any volume in nearly all cases, right? It's not a separate discrete chip, it's included with the accelerometer in many cases, and an accelerometer is absolutely a requirement for a smartphone.
          • The headphone jack has been causing problems with the placement of components, especially antennas, for years now because the thing is enormous, cutting deep into the device, and has to be on the edge and at one end. The USB port is a similar problem, it's less than half as deep and it serves many purposes -- including audio.

            Curiously enough, a similar post came in from 2020 (still in Trump-as-president universe, obviously) when I was using my timescanner, it reads:

            The screen has been causing problems w

          • Whatever difficulties exist, were solved by previous engineers. Even the Chinese companies that make the lamest phones, are able to do it.

            Anyone complaining that it's hard, gets no sympathy. It's your job to make the phone be usable. If you're not the kind of person who can do that, fine, but step aside and let someone else play hardware engineer.

            Maybe we'll get that old white-bearded guy who designed phone hardware 3-4 years ago. He sure knew how to do it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Right. Not having a headphones jack - something which I use every day - sheer stupidity.
      Some manufactures claim that the 1/8" headphones jack is making their phone thick. But that is simply incorrect. I have the Alcatel Idol 3 which is probably the thinnest phone I've seen, and definitely thin enough - and it has a headphone jack. I would not buy a phone without one - until the makers of ubiquitous $5 headphones agree on a different standard.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Let me get this straight - you can afford $700 for this shiny new phone, and you'd otherwise buy it, but you're too tight to stump up for for some new headphones with a modern connector, or a $5 adaptor to allow you to use your old ones? How does this even make sense?

      • by dmesg0 ( 1342071 )

        - I already have plenty of expensive and inexpensive headphones
        - I was in several situations where ability to connect the my phone to the AV system saved the day
        - Adaptors suck, get lost and may contain a low quality DAC.
        - Others make phones with a headphone jack, why should I go for the inconvenience of buying one without?

         

      • Yeah, whatever happened to the good old days when Nexus phones were both cheap and GOOD. The new Pixel phone is a high end phone, this is a high-end phone. It's like, is anyone building solidly engineered practical devices anymore?

        I'll continue to use my $200 Nexus 5x until something that can actually replace it comes along.

        • I wonder that too. I still have my $250 16GB Nexus 4 from 2013. It takes crappy pictures, but otherwise suits me fine.

          Moto G was a surprise hit because it was targeted at developing countries but provided decent performance at a decent price when bought unlocked. I can't speak to the new Moto G.

          Acer Zest is also available with seemingly decent specs, at decent unlocked prices, but I can't comment one way or the other on the quality.

      • No, he can afford $700 for something that he thinks is worth $700 (or more), but the lack of a headphone jack makes it worth less than $700 to him.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Another stupidly thin, horribly fragile, totally unhandy enormophone.

    How about actually innovating and making a small, thick, fast one we can keep in our back pockets ?

    • maybe you should read the article first.... "Essential is clearly planning on releasing a very well-made phone: the screen looks promising, it has no annoying logos, and it is built with a combination of titanium and ceramic so it can survive a drop test “without blemish, unlike the aluminium competitor devices”
      do you really want to keep your phone in a the pick-pockets paradise back pocket?
  • I guess this phone will look good for a week until I have dropped it on the floor a few times, and the screen has shattered on the edges. My otterbox have kept my Iphone 5S alive for several years now. How do you keep a phone with wrapped screen from breaking when dropped?
    • I guess this phone will look good for a week until I have dropped it on the floor a few times, and the screen has shattered on the edges. My otterbox have kept my Iphone 5S alive for several years now. How do you keep a phone with wrapped screen from breaking when dropped?

      Unless you want to wrap it in enough of a protective case to render this edge-to-edge screen bullshit pointless, the simple answer is you don't.

      But look on the bright side. Mega-corps will make billions off nothing more than a financial line that reads "shit happens" by forcing you to replace your expensive hardware prematurely.

  • Cool, so it's a smart phone like every other model on the market with small performance enhancements and features I would never ever notice.

    What's the battery life?

  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @06:58AM (#54509519)

    Is a phone that is analogous to the Steve Jobs era MacBook Pro. Expensive, well-built, upgradeable (in a limited sense as laptops go), repairable, long term support. For a phone that is like that, I'd not only pay $1k up front, but be willing to fork over $150-$200 for a support package that guarantees that, barring bankruptcy, the company will provide timely software updates past the first two years.

    • repairable

      The SquareTrade people released their numbers on the GS8 and it's the most fragile phone ever released, due to the edge-to-edge screen. It cracks at the drop of a hat.

      One nice thing about the MBP (and the Powerbook before them) series was that they were built to be especially rugged, this side of actual ruggedized gear.

      When PC's were shipping plastic, they were shipping cast magnesium frames, etc. (later unibody aluminum cores).

      If Essential wants my money, the phone will not be extremely breakab

      • The SquareTrade people released their numbers on the GS8 and it's the most fragile phone ever released, due to the edge-to-edge screen. It cracks at the drop of a hat.

        The frailty of a device has no bearing on its repairability. The modularity does. The iFixit score for the GS8 is 4/10. Far from the lowest, and partially because of annoying glue on the battery, and partially because the screen can't be separated from the glass, but then most repairers buy the display assembly as one anyway.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Expensive, well-built, upgradeable (in a limited sense as laptops go), repairable, long term support.

      LG G3? I have one running CyanogenMod and it pretty much ticks all those boxes, though I'm not sure about long-term support. I doubt I'll ever need another phone. There's not much needs improving.

  • It's the same thing everybody else does just polished to a higher shine.

    What exactly about this will make it more usable, more versatile or give us new possibilities?

    Look, wake me when somebody makes a phone that won't start acting strange between a year and a year and a half in (hey, if you make it stop working at exactly two years it would make me less annoyed, if we're clear about the matter from the start), that lets me brwose the web like on my desktop (meaning LET ME FUCKING CHANGE THE FUCKING USER AG

    • by Yosho ( 135835 )

      LET ME FUCKING CHANGE THE FUCKING USER AGENT

      Install Firefox for Android, install your favorite user agent switching add-on.

      I mean come on, if somebody touches your monitor at work, don't you want to strangle them? Aren't we fans of the old IBM clackedy clack keyboards to the point we're paying premium for mechanical keyboards? And yet we think touching our screens to input text, with no tactile feedback, is somehow okay?

      There have been numerous cell phones in the past with built-in keyboards, and they quickly fell out of favor because they more than double the bulk of the phone, are prone to breaking, and are pretty uncomfortable to use due to the size. If you have to do sysadmin work on your phone you're already in a bad situation, but maybe get a bluetooth keyboard?

    • If you are calling yourself an IT guy and you don't know how to change the USER AGENT of a phone web browser than you don't sound like much of an IT guy. They are many ways to do that. The easiest is to install almost any other web browser such as Dolphin or Firefox.

      I was a die-hard keyboard user. I hung on to my Droid 4 until I couldn't take the battery life anymore. But with good virtual keyboards like SwiftKey for regular messaging and Hacker's Keyboard for SSHing into servers I can still pretty much

  • by Anonymous Coward

    cuz.. "essential" is not a $700 'custom' android "smart phone", it's a $50 flip phone that, ya know, CALLS people, can do texts, and doesn't need to be tethered to a power outlet because the battery lasts more than half a day (try a week or two, typically).

  • The display with a hole? What a stupid idea

  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @07:23AM (#54509579)

    Cell manufacturers piss me off because they're focusing on everything i dont care about. Thin phone? I dont ware hipster skinny jeans, I could care less. Faster processing? The only reason I use a Samsung S5 is because my S4 broke. Screen goes all the way to the edge of the phone? I'd rather my phone not have design features that make it prone to breakage.

    If some one made a smart phone that could go several days without charging under realistic usage conditions I might drop $699 on it. Lame duck garbage like this? No thanks, I'd rather spend 3 or 4 hundred on something that does everything I want it to do just as well (and I find that expense insulting even given how old the tech is now that meets my needs)

    • A similar story here. The humble LG Nexus 5X is still my daily driver. Despite its flaws, it does everything I need. It will get Android O. It will get monthly security updates until at least September of 2018. The screen and camera are great, it has a fingerprint scanner in the right place (on the back), and its CPU is fast enough for all things I need to do. Best thing, I got it for just 250USD last year. Now, I am not convinced that the new flagship phones that cost 2.5-3 times the price are three times

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      If some one made a smart phone that could go several days without charging under realistic usage conditions I might drop $699 on it. Lame duck garbage like this? No thanks, I'd rather spend 3 or 4 hundred on something that does everything I want it to do just as well (and I find that expense insulting even given how old the tech is now that meets my needs)

      Is a phone with a 10,000mAH (10 AH!) [engadget.com] big enough? It's certainly not very expensive and it's about to be released. Granted, the specs aren't terrific, but

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        That's a fucking great tip. I havent looked at new cell phones in a bit so I didn't know this was coming.

        The reviewers lack of enthusiasm for the phone typifies my dislike of the modern cell phone market. Mediocre specs and a huge battery life are exactly what I want as it allows for a great price point that features everything I want.

        I really don't feel that more expensive phones offer any extra value for their higher price point.

  • by zedaroca ( 3630525 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @07:34AM (#54509609)

    it's as close to the whole front of a phone being display as I've seen

    The Xiaomi Mi Mix [gsmarena.com] doesn't f up the screen with the front camera by adding it at the bottom, where both this and theirs don't have a screen.
    Some screenshots give the impression the screen isn't so large, but that's due to the on screen controls having a black background.

  • ...but the press release promises it will change everything, and isn't it nice to be informercialed about these exciting, slightly different phones every day on Slashdot?

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      " the press release promises it will change everything"

      It's the biggest game-changer since the Segway!
  • by DirkDaring ( 91233 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @07:39AM (#54509625)

    I don't. If you have a phone with it, is it worth it? Can you even use a case with it?

    • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @09:30AM (#54510099)
      I have a phone with a small bezel on the left/right sides. When I hold my phone, the fleshy part of my hand overlaps the bezel and makes contact with the screen, which the phone interprets as a "touch". I already have my phone in a case, and yet this STILL happens. I would probably find the Samsung edge phones to be completely unusable.

      I don't want a bezel-less phone. Only phone designers want a bezel-less phone. I have no idea why. What I *DO* want is increased battery life. They should work on that instead.
      • Only phone designers want a bezel-less phone. I have no idea why.

        1} Because aesthetics. Form over functionality. That's how the iPhone obliterated Blackberry, for instance.
        2} It's not just the designers. Hence the replies below you. "It makes it much more visually appealing to me." "...why would you want a large bezel?" While I agree with you, these people who buy on appearances outnumber us, and that's why there's no modern inch-thick smartphone with a week's worth of battery capacity.

      • I would probably find the Samsung edge phones to be completely unusable.

        I thought so as well, but it would seem that companies that produce phones with screens that fold over the edge seem to take this into account with their designs. I have a lot less false edge presses on my gf's S7Edge than on my S5.

    • Well, conversely, why would you want a large bezel? I want a large screen, I want a small phome. Logically, having a small bezel/no bezel is the way to do it, as long as there's no other tradeoffs.

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @08:39AM (#54509859) Homepage
    Someone forgot about real phones. Maybe next time, Andy. Ok?
    • I still have my OnePlus One. It works as good as my wife's I-Phone 6S. I have loaded every version on Oxygen and Cyanogenmod over the years. It is easy to backup, wipe, reset and start over. When it is no longer viable, I will get the OnePlus 5 (or 6 or 7 or 8).

      I see no reason to get this "essential" phone whatsoever.
  • by Plumpaquatsch ( 2701653 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @08:44AM (#54509881) Journal
    700 bucks for an "essential" phone.
  • What makes it Essential? Edge to Edge screen, already been done. No Logo? Is that really a feature. Hmm..O It's "cool" and it cost a lot! That's it. Sorry, too late. "Cool and Expensive" market is already completely ruled by Apple.
  • The article starts with:

    First, the Android phone basics. The Essential Phone costs $699 with top-of-the-line specs and features. As you can see above, it prominently features an edge-to-edge display that one-ups even the Samsung Galaxy S8 by bringing it all the way to the the top of the phone, wrapping around the front-facing selfie camera.

    For me, the "Android phone basics" are:

    - what version of Android does it ship with?
    - how often will it be updated?

    The rest of that stuff is just phone basics.

    Overall though it sounds interesting and I like the idea of more competition in the Android space. But I will simply not buy an Android phone that does not run an Android software update schedule that is on par with what Google do with the Nexus/Pixel series.

  • no headphone jack? no thanks.
    • Yep, that killed it for me, too.

      If you're trying to break into a market, try at least not coming in with fewer features than nearly every other player.

      "Thin"

  • Maybe I'm seeing things or maybe it's just an artistic rendering, but I see bezel all the way around, not just the big chunk on the bottom. But hey, Lonzo...I mean Andy, you created a phone...something I have never done... so good for you!
  • For $699 it better come with a SCO license.
  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @09:46AM (#54510193)
    Any time someone with a no bezel phone hands it to me, I have to treat it like I'm defusing a bomb. Almost inevitably a fraction of a finger touches the screen and there goes whatever I was supposed to look at. Leave enough of a bezel that the phone can be handed off to another person.
  • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2017 @10:20AM (#54510495)

    I think people criticizing this phone doesn't seem to get the point of Android. The greatest thing about Android phones is the amount of CHOICES and INNOVATION that are happening right now. Apple, which was producing effectively the same phone for the last three iterations, is now falling behind.

    Want a smartphone with a physical keyboard? Get Blackberry Keyone. What a phone with no bezels? Get the Samsung S8. Want a phone with modular expansion? Get the Moto X. Want a Chinese phone with near flagship specs at one half of price? Get a Huawei Honor 8. etc. Want a phone that runs a lean Android ROM and monthly security updates? Get a Pixel. In the Android marketplace, there is now a smartphone for every taste and desire. None of those phones are meant to appeal to everyone, but each has its small niche.

    • by kdn102 ( 1588567 )
      You have excellent points, but they are falling on deaf ears. The root of the problem is that people want to feel like their choice is better so they pick on others' choices. It's "product shaming." What a wonderful world we live in.
  • As I predicted, more and more mobile devices will be following Apple, Motorola, HTC and others in eschewing the outdated, problematic and technologically-inferior 3.5 mm headphone jack in favor of a digital replacement.

    Guess Apple was courageous after all, eh?

    Or are people going to fill Slashdot and other online forums with literally thousands of posts crapping on this new "Essential" Android phone for shipping a "dongle" for analog headphone compatibility, too?

  • Speaking of ports, there is no traditional 3.5mm headphone jack — which is a bummer. We’re told that it will ship with a headphone dongle in the box.

    Dear oh dear

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury

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